Australian employment increased 17,900 in May

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The ABS has just released its latest survey of employment in Australian which showed during the month of May that employment increased by 17,900 (seasonally adjusted) and the unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.7%.

The data was in line with market expectations of an increase in jobs of 15,000 and the unemployment rate expectation of 5.7% so there has been no discernable impact on the Australian dollar or other markets.

But while the data was only a small “beat” in terms of market expectations there is some encouraging signs of a relatively robust employment market and solid domestic economy.

On the employment front, the good news is that in contrast to the recent trend the gains were largely sourced in male full-time employment which increased by 17,000. Female part-time employment also increased strongly with a rise of 17,900 but this was offset by a corresponding decrease in female full-time employment of 17,000 the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

Don’t forget though the delineation between full-time and part-time for the ABS is an almost full-time 35 hours a week. Which may help explain this almost perfect offset in female employment.

In a positive sign for the economy the ABS also reported that “seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 27.7 million hours (1.7%) in May 2016 to 1,643.1 million hours”.

That growth in hours worked reverses what had been a worrying 3-month trend of lower hours worked in the economy. The data showed hours worked is now just 0.49% below the all time high in January this year.

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